Photos: Illinois warned to avoid bear spotted for second time in a month

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Less than three weeks after a Jo Daviess County family was surprised by a back yard visit from a black bear, another sighting was reported in DeKalb County, Illinois.

Related:  Black bear surprises couple while they’re eating breakfast

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott says the animal did not seem aggressive when it was spotted Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

A resident of Genoa, Illinois spotted the black bear near the intersection of Route 72 and Route 23 that morning.  A sheriff’s deputy also spotted it and took several photos.

Scott joined the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in advising anyone who spots a bear to keep their distance.

“We caution everyone not to approach it,” Scott said.  “Leave it alone and, hopefully, it will move on.”

If it’s the same bear spotted near Galena on May 24, and in other northern Illinois areas, it seems to like bird feeders.

“While the black bear sighted most recently has shown no aggressive behavior towards humans, it should not be approached.  Help us keep this bear from being accustomed to people. Always observe wildlife from a distance,” said a statement from Illinois DNR Director Marc Miller.   “By removing easy sources of food for the bear, we can encourage it to stop searching for food near homes,” Miller said.

Authorities planned to monitor the bear but no other action was warranted as long as no the bear was not aggressive.

“We are going to let him just be a bear,” Scott said.

Legislation adding black bears, gray wolves and mountain lions to the list of protected wildlife in Illinois won’t take effect until January 1, 2015.

“This means that immediate decisions on the fate of these animals reside with local landowners or municipalities.  Once the new law takes effect, the Illinois DNR will have the exclusive statutory authority to manage these animals in Illinois,” Miller said.